New Releases: March 23

1. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate, 4,137 Theaters, 142 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Harry Potter is gone, Twilight is on its last legs, and we are still looking for a literary adaptation to take their place. The Chronicles of Narnia series has been somewhat popular, but the cinematic battlefield is littered with high-priced kid-lit adaptations that failed to capture audiences’ attentions the way those two did. This week, another contender steps up to the plate.

The Hunger Games is an insanely popular book trilogy that has found a number of loyal fans who have apparently never read the Japanese novel Battle Royale. Because that novel bears an almost legally actionable similarity to The Hunger Games and it came out almost 9 years earlier.

But, regardless, derivative or not, people are expecting this film to be a Potter/Twilight level success. But it is a story about kids being forced to kill kids. That lacks the sense of awe and wonder the Potter series had (although this property has a similar “coochie-coochie-coo” naming system for its characters that Rowling employed for her books) and it misses the romance of the Twilight series, two things that brought the uninitated into those franchises. Also, it is one looong film. It’s budget is lower than John Carter, but I think it might just be as big a disappointment. I could be wrong.

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About Bill Gatevackes 2035 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken, and in Comics Foundry magazine.
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March 23, 2012 7:51 am

Don’t follow the trolls, dear. They’re the only ones crying plagiarism. You might as well say they are both copying The Running Man and Lord of the Flies. We had the same deal with Harry Potter, The Books of Magic, and Charlie Bone. Similar premise and themes appearing at the same time, but then varying wildly in approach. You know that certain types of stories grab the public’s imagination at the same time, with a little (or a lot) of help from editors and producers who know which way the wind is blowing.

Rich Drees
March 23, 2012 10:04 pm

Just an FYI, I’ll be addressing the similarities and differences between BATTLE ROYALE and HUNGER GAMES as films in my review later this weekend.